tristar-evp

I’ve very much wanted to see Chiranjeevi’s 1993 film Mutha Mestri after I saw the fabulous video of “We Are Flowers” song. According to a research done by Cinema Chaat, the song is included only in the EVP version and the DVD by Moser Baer doesn’t have it. The EVP DVD has been somewhat difficult to track down but some time ago I noticed that it is included in EVP’s 12 DVD Tri Star Superhits Pack that Bhavani DVD sells for $47.99. The box has twelve oldish Telugu movies by “Tri Star” which means the three big stars of Telugu cinema: Chiranjeevi, Venkatesh, and Nagarjuna.

The product’s description page at Bhavani doesn’t have very detailed information about the pack so I thought that I could make a simple list and take a few photographs of the contents of the pack in case that someone is considering whether to buy it or not.

The pack includes the EVP versions of the following DVDs:

  1. Chiranjeevi: Mutha Mestri (1993, 158 min) – English subtitles
  2. Chiranjeevi: Alluda Majaka (1995, 166 min) – English subtitles
  3. Chiranjeevi: Big Boss (1995, 153 min) – English subtitles
  4. Chiranjeevi: Mogudu Kaavaali (1980, 125 min)
  5. Nagarjuna: Allari Alludu (1993, 165 min)
  6. Venkatesh: Sankranthi (2005, 160 min)
  7. Nagarjuna: Rakshana (1993, 150 min)
  8. Nagarjuna: Shiva (1989, 145 min)
  9. Venkatesh: Nirnayam (1991, 164 min) – English subtitles
  10. Chiranjeevi: Kothala Rayudu (1979, 127 min)
  11. Venkatesh: Shatruvu (1990, 140 min)
  12. Venkatesh: Intlo Illalu Vantintlo Priyuralu (1996, 153 min)

Four of the 12 DVDs, including Mutha Mestri, come with English subtitles. Unfortunately the songs in Mutha Mestri aren’t subtitled but it’s of course more important to have subtitles in the actual dialogue. (I haven’t checked the song subs of the other movies.) I knew that not all of them would come with subtitles but it’s a pity that Shiva isn’t subbed, as Shiva DVD by Shalimar has the subs. Four of 12 isn’t a very good subtitle ratio but I think it was worth it for Mutha Mestri. The pack also includes Alluda Majaka which is YouTube-famous for a miraculous tractor fight and horse-sliding under a truck.


The case that contains the 12 DVDs is about the size of two regular DVD cases. It would solve all my storing space problems if all movies were packed like this.


The inside and the outside of the case.


The inside of the case with and without the discs. I hadn’t seen a DVD case mechanism like this before.


The diversity of different print styles on the discs is interesting…

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  • I watched Mithun Chakraborty’s 1982 Hindi film Disco Dancer. Epic songs! Guitar-phobia! Very funny. 3½
  • I was interested to see Buster Keaton’s 1923 American silent film Our Hospitality because S. S. Rajamouli’s Maryada Ramanna (2010) is a remake of it. The story is approximately the same and some scenes are very similar between the two. The original is funny but not as funny as the remake.
  • For the same reason I watched the Australian short film Cockroach (2010) because some people claim that S. S. Rajamouli’s Eega (2012) is copied from it. I honestly didn’t see that many similiraties between the two.
  • Chiranjeevi’s Shankar Dada Zindabad (2007) was not as good as Shankar Dada MBBS (2004). It was a little confusing that they didn’t explain why the girl from MBBS wasn’t around anymore even though there were other references to the first part. Now there are still two or three Allu Arjun’s special appearances that I haven’t yet seen. 2½
  • I finally saw Ram Charan’s Govindudu Andarivadele (2014). Not as good as many of his other movies but still watchable. The Bunny thing was so funny! 3
  • Jr. NTR’s Rabhasa (2014) has very complicated story. I couldn’t keep track of everything but there were lots of funny things!
  • I rewatched A (1998) and Preethse (2000) with the friend who got hooked to Upendra after seeing Upendra. I liked A more when watching for the second time. Sometimes we got lost in the hierarchy of five(?) stacked levels of flashback.
  • Happy Days is a 2007 Telugu film starring Varun Sandesh and Tamanna Bhatia. It is a college drama that follows a group of friends through their studies. I found it quite enjoyable although there wasn’t much going on in the story. The format is very different from most of other South Indian films that I’ve seen. Most notably, the hero doesn’t have supernatural fighting powers and there’s no distinct comedic side plot.
  • I also watched a lot of older Prabhas movies. I’ll post more about them later.

Bonus clip: BUNNY KISS!

I was doing random YouTube surfing and found this clip from an old Filmfare Awards South event.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Eb0e9inkERo

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Superstar Project 3/174.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=luMuw5mjEOg

Bloodstone_poster WPIMDbLB

This time I write about an American action adventure movie, but it fits into the scope of this blog because it has Rajinikanth in it. The movie is Rajinikanth’s only non-Indian movie, Bloodstone (1988), which is directed by Dwight Little.

The main characters are Sandy (Brett Stimely) and Stephanie (Anna Nicholas), a newlywed couple traveling in India. A jewel thief uses them to smuggle the Bloodstone, the biggest ruby in the world, past an irritating and comic police inspector, and so Sandy and Stephanie get involved into businesses of dangerous criminals.

Rajinikanth plays a crazy taxi driver who eventually becomes the second hero character, and he absolutely steals the show from his supporting role. There are some really awesome dialogue, a nice knife trick, and of course his traditional cigarette trick. I’ve read that the shooting of the film was challenging because the foreign director wasn’t aware of Rajinikanth’s popularity and there were huge crowds of fans everywhere when they tried to shoot his scenes.

bloodstone-2 bloodstone-1

bloodstone-3 bloodstone-4

I recently watched Disco Dancer and didn’t recall why one of the villain’s henchmen looked so familiar, but he was of course Bob Christo who has a similar role also in Bloodstone. He is convincing in that kind of roles but the other supporting actors aren’t very memorable.

I was quite surprised to learn that a Rajini film has had an official VHS release in Finland in 1988 (Bloodstone – rubiinin kirous, “The Curse of the Ruby”), so I of course had to find and get it too. I re-typed its subtitles into my subtitling software (and made some minor corrections and improvements), and now I’m able to enjoy the better-quality DVD version of Rajinikanth with almost official Finnish subtitles!

Another funny thing that I noticed is that there also exists a Hindi-dubbed version that has some remarkably awful censorship. For example, there is a burglary scene with some sex voices coming from the adjacent bathroom. They have tried to hide the moans with very loudly splashing water, but the original audio track is still clearly audible and the result is just a horrible mess.

DVDs with the original English audio are available on Amazon and sometimes on eBay with American and Australian region codes. I got the American one and I didn’t have any problems playing it with my European laptop using VLC media player. I recommend getting the digitally re-mastered 2003 version rather than the original as it looks a lot better.

bloodstone-vhsbloodstone-remastered

Final verdict: Bloodstone is a mandatory watch for Rajinikanth fans. The story isn’t that original but Rajinikanth’s amazing performance makes it fun to watch. The other main role actors aren’t that unforgettable. The end credits song is too catchy!

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With this post I’m starting yet another new experimental post series. This time it’s called Mega Power Quiz and it’s a quiz game for my (probably nonexistent?) readers. There might be no one who would be interested to take part in the game but that doesn’t stop me from creating questions! At least for now I don’t have any predefined schedule for new questions and I’ll just post one whenever I happen to come up with something that isn’t too easy to solve with Google. Unfortunately I cannot (at least not yet) offer any prizes for the winners but whoever is the first to post the correct answer in the comment section of this post will get 1 point and the leaders of the scoreboard can call themselves the Mega Power Sages of Indian cinema – how cool is that!


The first question might be an easy one if you’ve seen enough of these movies. The question is:
What is the connection between these twelve movies?

q1

  1. Patala Bhairavi (1951)
  2. Zabak (1961)
  3. Jalte Badan (1973)
  4. Shaan (1980)
  5. Adavi Donga (1985)
  6. Khoon Bari Maang (1988)
  7. Yaadein (2001)
  8. Ponnar Shankar (2011)
  9. Crocodile Love Story (2013)
  10. Jagadguru Adi Shankara (2013)
  11. I (2015)
  12. Uttama Villain (2015)

Hint #1 (added Nov 19, 2015): Thirteenth movie that would qualify to the above list would be the 2015 Tamil fantasy film Puli.

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Superstar Project 1/174.

murattukaalai WPIMDbLB

The first entry in my new Superstar Project is his 1980 Tamil film, Murattu Kaalai, directed by S. P. Muthuraman. The film is Rajinikanth’s first film with AVM Productions and had highest budget ever in a Rajinikanth film at the time. According to Ramachandran’s book, this is also the film that made Rajinikanth into a commercial hero.

Rajinikanth is a farmer/bullfighter and the story is about defeating a nasty landlord. We get to see bullfighting, a dramatic love triangle, treacherous bad guys, more bullfighting, an interrupted wedding, fighting on top of a moving train, and there are also some very strange-looking jumping stunts in the climax fight scene at the landlord’s house. Overall, the film was a nice watch but a little slow-placed at times.

While doing the Superstar Project, I’ll also try to take screenshots of the Rajini moments in opening credits, as it would be interesting to see when exactly they change into the bombastic spectacles that they are today. Murattu Kaalai simply displays his name without any mention about his stardom.

murattukaalai-credits

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